The picture of President Museveni and Pope Francis in the paper yesterday spoke many words. Here were two different figures of varying importance in the wider world, sitting across from each other and smiling for the camera.
I wondered what was going on in the heads of both of them at that moment.
For Museveni, who has admittedly lost all the luster of yester-year on the international stage, this was a much-needed photo-op. One wonders how long it took to secure that meeting. Huh huh!
Going by the publicity Francis has garnered in the last 20 months, we know whose PR people were working overtime to make the meeting a reality.
For the Pope, the urge to look at the Holy Chronometer must have been strong and he had to fight to keep the Holy Eyes on his guest and the camera. Here was an African leader who had been described as a has-been, who wanted some badly needed face time.
After granting such time to many others, surely the Pope could spare some time for a brother, no?
And then I read the tweet from the president: “I and Pope Francis held a one-to-one meeting that lasted one and a half hours. I later introduced the First Lady my wife.” I doubt Museveni sent that tweet. I have so many doubts about that whole social media effort the proles in Nakasero are trying to impress upon us anyway. #okbye.
Did the Pope express excitement after Museveni gave him a copy of Sowing the Mustard Seed; did he have to read up on the importance of the Uganda Martyrs so he could contribute intelligently to the conversation; did someone have to come to the Pope and announce self-importantly that there was another meeting the Pope had to be at (Surely, the tricks used by girls who want to extricate themselves from a date that’s nose-dived are not alien to the Holy father’s mind)?